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Collaboration, child custody and domestic violence

Leaving a marriage where domestic violence has occurred can be a nightmare, and is a step that many victims put off for years. When the time comes to finally pull the plug and start a new life, victims of domestic violence may be fearful of a nasty child custody fight. When considering how to proceed, it may be worthwhile to consider collaboration as a divorce option. Collaboration can seem like an impossible goal to achieve when working with an abusive spouse, but the way that the process works can actually be beneficial for some Georgia victims and their children.

Collaboration involved both spouses working toward a shared goal: the resolution of property division, child custody and other divorce issues outside of a court of law. That does not mean that the couple meets over coffee to hammer out their settlement; the process involves a series of meetings where both sides have an attorney present. In addition, neutral mental health and financial experts may also participate.

Having those professionals present is a great way to reduce conflict during negotiations, and to keep the focus where it should be. If either party begins to stray outside of the realm of the topic at hand, the attorneys and other pros can redirect. That can make it far easier to work through matters of child custody, where emotions are likely to run high. In addition, a mental health professional can make suggestions concerning how to structure visits, custody transfers and so on.

For those in Georgia who are concerned about how a history of domestic violence may impact their divorce and child custody efforts, it is important to look at all available options before beginning the process. Collaboration is one of many potential paths to take, but it is one that should be carefully considered. When parents are able to work out a custody plan on their own, with the support of trained professionals, it can create a more healthy dynamic for the years ahead.

Source: news-journalonline.com, "Gentler, kinder collaborative divorce rules get approval in Florida", Frank Fernandez, Aug. 27, 2017

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